Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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396099 tn?1216258586

Should I be on the anxiety forum?

Well  I went back and re-read my own journals.  100 days (or so) clean and I've had big bouts of ups and downs regarding anxiety.  Early on (15 days) I had a full blown anxiety attack and went to the ER where they told me no you're not having a heart attack it's just anxiety.  I then learned about PAWS and figured I was going to be in for a ride with this.   Well there have been weeks where I've been my "old self" and weeks where it's like I'm always just a little bit afraid all the time.  I'm in a down cycle now to the point where I took a xanex this morning.  And I hate... absolutely HATE the idea of it.  But I need to function for my family today.  We're going to a parade.

I've been fighting hard to do this on my own without substances but now I just don't know.  I feel fear and depression lurking around the fringes of my mind all the time lately (last few weeks).  It's really wearing on my state of mind and disposition.  There are enough problems in my house without me falling apart.  I'm the glue right now.  I can't fall apart.

I love this board and all it's taught me but I'm starting to think that I've had Generalized Anxiety Disorder all along and the opiats were maybe a tool for me to deal with that.  I've got a family doctor ready to put me on Lexapro and I've heard great things about it.  I just hate pills soo freaking much.  Am I maybe being foolish here.  

Anyway.  I was thinking that maybe I should spend some time over on the anxiety board.  I don't know.. I hate to make a decision this big while not clear minded.  And yes I realize how stupid that sounds.. ughh...

Can anyone relate to what's happening to me?  Am I just in a regular PAWS funk or should I be climbing out of this by now.  Any opinions greatly appretiated.
16 Responses
Avatar universal
100 days.....You're so far ahead of where I am, that I can't relate. I do however relate to your pill aversion. I also hate to take any type of pill, if I can keep from it. The fact seems to be that the zanax, and maybe the lexapro, helps you enough to keep you from running for an opiate. My opinion is that you should us them as sparingly as possible, but use them, if you must. Since you've had to seek help at a ER, it seems reasonable to help yourself remain focused. Don't develope another habit, but do what you must to function. Just my opinion. I wish you all the luck.
352798 tn?1399301754
The is nothing regular about PAWS the word ACUTE is in there for a reason. Some of us need help by other means such as Lexapro. I am on Zoloft and it helps me be sane. I don't like it either but I hate how I act without it even worse. I would look at taking an amino acid protocol for anxiety. Then, if that doesn't work, you may need something in an Rx.
Avatar universal
I think you should let dr know what you are going thru.
396099 tn?1216258586
Thanks!  I hear you both and appreciate it.  I guess it's time to really deal with this.   I'll talk to the doc about Lexapro.  From everything I learned about it it seem like it's almost exactly what will help and there is less chance of true addiction..  I KNOW from reading this board that I don't want to "dance" with xanex for very long.  That stuff scares me a little in that it's another possible addiction crutch which is absolute HELL to get off of.  Maybe I need to temper my dislike of pills and be reasonable about it.  ughh...this is one tough week.  This place is a godsend.  Thanks.. again and again..

429432 tn?1343597790
I took lexapro for quite some time, it worked well, and it wasn't too hard too go off of. The only reason I stopped taking it was because I was up to 20 mgs and it lost its "kick".Now I'm on another SSRI prozac..sometimes your brain gets too used to the same one and you have to switch....best wishes...cat
396099 tn?1216258586
Thanks Cat.

I take it that 20mgs is on the upper end for Lexapro.  My goal with this (as well as any drug I'll ever take) is to take the absolute minimum that is effective and get *** to last as long as possible.  Even now at this moment the .5 of xanex I'm on is just at the minimum of what is useful.  I've become reeeeeely cautious about this stuff.  I'd love to say that I'll just trust my Dr but but my trust in the medical field is evaporating every day.  Especially after how badly they got my wife hooked on Oxy's.  They mean well but they are way overworked and spread too thin to stay on top of things.

Sorr.  I'm ranting a bit.  :)
429432 tn?1343597790
I hear you on the trust in the dr.'s Only YOU can tell whats right for you. And you're right, hardly anyone takes the 20 mgs...you're being smart by being cautious. Sounds to me like you'll do fine, you're on the right track....
396099 tn?1216258586
I actually like and somewhat trust my Dr but wow is he busy.  In this day and age you really have to take a certain amount of responsibility to educate yourself about what they give you.  I've heard him say not to spend too much time on the internet though because he's seen a sharp spike in hypochondriacs in his practice.  I'm sure he has a valid point but still..

Avatar universal
I have often thought that much substance abuse is self medication, Anxiety, depression, OCD- gallop in my fam- and so does alchoholism and drug abuse. The oldsters just got sloshed every night and cried in their beer. They wouldn't DARE admit that they might have a *gasp* Mental Illness!!! It is so time to put that in the past and realize that depression etal  is a real illness and there are legal effective medications- just like insulin for a diabetic.... you don't consider a diabetic to be a drug abuser, do you? Self medication has taken many a soul down a dark,dark path- it only makes it worse. So- get thee to a GP and get some depression or anxiety meds. There are many so if the first one doesn't do the trick- keep trying- there will be one that will help your chemistry become more even and tolerable,
396099 tn?1216258586
Well no diabetics aren't abusers but they don't get addicted to insulin either.  Sure a lot of them need it to live.  But there are degrees.  It's also possible for them to control a milder case with diet and exercise.  

Not every problem is a nail and not every solution a hammer.  Simply "getting thee" to a GP isn't the problem.  Lets face it GP's are always prescribing outside their area of expertise  (My family Dr was giving my wife 240mg/day of Oxy along with antidepressants, lyrica, patches etc...  I never heard him suggest a reputable pain management specialist till my wife had a seizure and he got scared).

I'm not really interested in just getting to a GP and throwing things at the wall till something sticks.  That method scares the h### out of me.  "Take this for a while.  Doesn't work then try this".  BAHHHH...

It sounds stupid but if I get a headache I don't think that it's because my body was aspirin deficient.   I'm just as interested in the cause as the cure.  

All my ranting aside,  I still think you make some good points and I largely agree with you original premise.  We self-medicate to deal with unmentioned problems and then deny deny deny...  My problem is that I'm trying to come to terms with weather this anxiety is part of PAWS or if I've been doing the deny deny deny..  I was a rock solid guy for 43 years.  I mean totally unflappable,  This is tough for me to consider.  I just don't know yet.  

Sorry for the aimless ramble... shrug.. I'm just thinking out loud a little.
401095 tn?1351395370
Perhaps you can post on both forums
Avatar universal
From my experience you may well be right about the PAWS - the time frame is right and so are the panic/anxiety things......happened to me...if you arent inclined to an anti-anxiety anti-depressant you need to be able to recognize an attack or episode and head it off with breathing exercises, meditation, or any  type of re4laxation technique........and you need to realize what it is and that it wont kill you - easier said than done.....I am well past 100 days now and dont have that to mess with anymore....it will diminish and then go away gradually...good luck
396099 tn?1216258586
Thanks.  Lately it isn't the full blown anxiety.  It's the steady drip drip drip of background anxiety.  It just seems to linger there nagging at me.  It's the kind of stress that a glass of wine might have taken care of but doesn't anymore (I've been backing off alcohol anyway).

I guess I'll keep the faith that this is "normal" for a little while longer and hope it cycles out again.  It isn't easy though.
401095 tn?1351395370
I had an overwhelming amount of anxiety on Friday...i walked on the treadmill for an hour and it was gone...it was like nervous energy but very uncomfortable..my hands felt shaky...one was shaking...scared me but it passed...i think one major thing with anxiety is to accept it as part of my emotions and accept it...as worrying about it only aggravates it and causes more anxiety...yoga also helps my anxiety level...theanine helps as well...I try to avoid taking anything like valium for it if at all possible...good luck and find a way to relax or burn it off with a walk maybe next time
401095 tn?1351395370
and we are very close to the same clean time i just noticed
401786 tn?1309155634
I have dealt with SEVERE anxiety ever since I got off the med.  Although it had been less than it was in the beginning, I have to say, it's been bad lately, and we're about the same days out.   It's incredibly frustrating, night's are really bad, and if I wasn't constantly distracted in the daytime, it can be really rough then too.  I have to keep my mind focused on something, anything ALL the time, and make a constant effort always.  I'm getting through it, and all I can say to you, beisdes PAWS sucks, is that if you can, distract yourself, get out of your house and go for a drive when you can, whatever floats your boat.  At night, come here and chat if it's bad then, as I'm guessing it is.  IF PAWS is not it, you know yourself better than anyone else...have you had a problem with anxiety prior to all of this?  
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